It was on a fall day not too long ago when I was about ready to make a trip from Dulles in Washington DC to Heathrow airport in London. I was flying on one carrier from Dulles to JFK and then another on the second leg to Heathrow. Since I got to the airport early I decided to walk around to keep myself occupied and then I went down to the gate about an hour before takeoff and proceeded to fall asleep right there at the gate. When I finally woke up everyone was gone and the plane was still sitting at the gate. They wouldn't leave me on the plane because they had already closed the doors. I began to panic.
While standing in line at the customer service desk I started to notice a common thread among all of the people that were being helped, they were all irate and were not getting anywhere. I decided to take a different course and to be as nice as I possibly could. Let me tell you something, it worked better than I ever thought it could.
At first they were saying that I would have to pay an additional $1,100 to get to Heathrow and they weren't flexible because it was an international flight. Well I smooth talked to the customer service rep until she got me on a second flight (standby) to JFK. Then it was up to the other airline to help me get the rest of the way. I thought there wasn't a chance, but by being calm and nice and asking the person behind the desk for a little leniency I ended up getting on a flight that was only 4 hours behind my original flight… for free. The moral of the story is you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, especially in the airport.
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